In China rainbow trout now legally sold as ‘salmon’


China’s salmon scandal (SeafoodSource) has finally been resolved—in favor of companies that produce and sell rainbow trout.

This week, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance, a division of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, issued a new standard that officially allows rainbow trout to be labeled and sold as “salmon.”

“The ruling is intended to resolve complaints that China-produced rainbow trout is being mislabled as salmon,” according to Salmonbusiness.com.

Widespread public outrage arose after a “state media investigation found fisheries were passing off rainbow trout as ‘imported salmon.’” (South China Morning Post) The report revealed as much as a third of all salmon sold in China is actually rainbow trout.

Authorities apparently decided that rather than ban misleading labels, the simplest solution would be to legitimize them. The two species of fish are related and because both have reddish meat they resemble each other (BBC).

Rainbow trout is a freshwater fish. Despite being hatched and spawning in freshwater, salmon spend most of their lives in saltwater.

The subject “rainbow trout is now salmon” had received 35 million views as of Wednesday on Chinese social media site Sina Weibo.

“Angry consumers say they thought they were eating fish from Europe or North America, and some vow to stop buying it,” according to May 2018 story in the South China Morning Post published shortly after the initial state media report was broadcast.

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